BBC announce Christmas schedule with plenty of Irish offerings

BBC announce Christmas schedule with plenty of Irish offerings

THE BBC has announced its Christmas schedule for 2022, with plenty of Irish offerings to watch across the festive period.

The line-up will be available live and on-demand on BBC iPlayer and across channels as favourites in the worlds of drama, comedy, entertainment and factual programmes sit alongside the very best in arts, music and religious programming.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, the adaptation of the internationally bestselling illustrated book by Charlie Mackesy and which features the voice of Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, is just one of the showings with an Irish connection.

Byrne is to voice the role of the Horse in the short film, alongside other actors including Tom Hollander as the Mole, Idris Elba as the Fox and newcomer Jude Coward Nicoll as the Boy.

For fans of Mrs Brown’s Boys there are two visits to Finglas this festive season.

The first episode will be called Mammy's Creepy Christmas, and will see Cathy's creepy boyfriend initiated into the family and Agnes get a festive fright when looking after his spooky twins. Meanwhile Bono rethinks his eco-kick after a lesson from Agnes.

The second outing on New Year's Eve, Mammy's Hair Loom, will see Buster and Dermot become convinced that Cathy's boyfriend is a vampire, while Agnes awaits the valuation of an antique vase that has been in the family for generations.

The Graham Norton Show will have its traditional New Year's Eve special edition on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Together on Graham’s Hogmanay sofa will be Oscar-winning Olivia Colman (The Favourite, The Crown), and BAFTA rising star Micheal Ward (Top Boy), co-starring in Sam Mendes’ powerful romantic drama Empire of Light.

Musician, writer and comedy great Hugh Laurie, actor and award-winning stand-up Romesh Ranganthan and one of the stars of 2022, footballer Leah Williamson (who captained England’s Lionesses to victory in the Euros) will also speak to Graham.

Stars of Cabaret, Callum Scott-Howells (It’s A Sin) and Madeline Brewer (The Handmaid’s Tale), will also chat and perform Willkommen and Don’t Tell Mama from the hit West End revival. Plus, end-of-year stories from the audience in Graham’s world-famous Big Red Chair.

Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer says:

“Nothing brings people across the UK together like Christmas on the BBC and this year we’ve got a world-class line-up like no other. Get ready to escape and be entertained with an incredible range of new festive shows across every genre, live or on demand, there’s something for everyone.”

Other programmes include the Call The Midwife Christmas Special, which was the BBC's third most-watched programme in 2021. In the 75-minute festive show, he midwives move the maternity clinic into new premises as the period show covers December 1967.

Viewers will also head to a small Scottish town in the life-affirming Mayflies starring Martin Compston, Tony Curran and Ashley Jensen, while Sally Wainwright’s multi-BAFTA award winning hit Happy Valley returns to the BBC for its much-anticipated third and final series.

The residents of Walford get set to celebrate Christmas in EastEnders; while new drama boxsets to binge over the festive season include the final chapter of the epic trilogy His Dark Materials, and Strike: Troubled Blood, which sees Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) visit family in Cornwall when he’s called on to solve a mysterious cold case.

Amongst a raft of entertainment specials, Michael McIntyre will be spinning his enormous yuletide wheel when he is joined by Gino D’Acampo, Alesha Dixon and Bear Grylls all attempting to win money for their favourite charities plus Bradley Walsh returns with a festive special of the legendary Blankety Blank, Romesh Ranganathan’s The Weakest Link and Mo Gilligan debuts TV’s newest and biggest music game show, That’s My Jam.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to the Ballroom for an all-star Christmas special, plus there is a stocking stuffed with other entertainment highlights including festive episodes of The Hit List, Question of Sport, Pointless, University Challenge, Would I Lie To You and QI.

And for the first time ever, the Men’s FIFA World Cup Final will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 18 December.

For a full schedule click here.